The lost generation are back, cash rich and full of optimism

More than 400 of Ireland’s ‘lost generation’, many with significant cash savings for a down-payment on a new house, are returning home each week. These returnees are another “pressure point” pushing up property prices to Celtic Tiger levels.

More than 300,000 Irish people emigrated in the years following the economic crash. However, the total number of people now coming into Ireland has increased by almost 15% in a year, from 69,300 to 79,300.

Buying a home in Ireland

Property experts say the numbers now returning to Ireland are putting increased strain on an already dysfunctional house buying and rental market. Returned emigrants who have amassed significant savings are proving to be another factor in pushing up prices, especially in a bidding war for a particular property.

When those who have emigrated move home many opt to live in Dublin, where there’s a shortage of supply, it is creating a pressure point. Those aged between 35 and 50 are part of a sizeable cohort with significant savings to buy a home, many have cash to help buy a property. Their aim was to leave Ireland, come back and buy a house.

The ‘Help to Buy Scheme’ provides a 5% tax relief for first-time buyers of up to €20,000 on new homes, however, returning emigrants who have spent more than four years abroad won’t be eligible, as the relief takes the form of a rebate of income tax paid over the previous four tax years.

Ireland’s Economic Recovery

Ireland’s economic recovery, coupled with employment growth, is likely to entice more of those who left Ireland to put down roots here. Recent reports reveal the Irish economy is in a strong position with forecasts showing the pace of employment growth above 3% this year for the first time since 2007.

Along with a growing economy many emigrants return home in order to be closer to family and wanting to bring children up in Ireland, along with homesickness. However, often the biggest challenge they face is the emotional readjustment.

Those who had travelled for many years experienced “reverse culture shock”, similar to when they first